Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

Then what is the rate you personally would be willing to pay? You've declared somewhere between 33% and 50% to be too high. What's not too high?

Just as wrong-headed a question. Taxes in the US are not voluntary, even though I've heard politicians make the claim that it is, obstinately and with a straight face. I can tell you that the value I get from the taxes I pay, in innumerable forms and constantly increasing, is significantly less than I get from my money anywhere else. I've been robbed more than once and no one was caught and nothing recovered, transportation around here is horrible even though I pay at the pump and tolls all over the place, and I've never been even responded to when I file complaints. To add insult to injury, the IRS has claimed my mother-in-law's life insurance was unreported income, sent me a bill I could not pay, refused to acknowledge receipt of any correspondence I sent them in response, and I eventually lost my house. The bank got a sweet deal because they got credit for writing off some debt, and the IRS forced me to claim my losses as income!

How much do you think is fair to pay supporting to keep these tyrannical bureaucrats in power?

Your "all or nothing" straw men are getting really tedious. I never said all problems are caused by government intervention, and yet many are. If you think all government solutions are correct and efficient and helpful to the people they claim they are going to help, then you are really very ignorant of the actual workings of governments. I say render unto Ceasar, but these days you can't make a move or a plan or plant a garden or travel from one place to another without prostrating yourself before some office or other and beg for permission first. Unless you're one of the rulers, I guess.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

I'm sure I can find some reason why you can't have a vegetable patch too, if I try hard enough.

So you can take away every property right I try to exercise, and all that it requires is for you to "try hard enough" to find some justification? Well, to me, that makes you a tyrant, just like people passing and enforcing laws like this one and doing crap like this, and that's why I participate in local government: to fight tyranny, and oppose busybodies that sit around in little tin pot committees deciding what to do with other peoples' property.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

Technically, what the 16th amendment legalized was taxation "without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." That the amendment specified "income" is more window dressing than substance.

Right, I think that's what I said. The 1895 decision stated that taxing income from property was direct and must be apportioned. The problem is that if they passed a tax on wages that excluded any taxes on other kinds of income it would be political suicide.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

Actually, it's less than 50, but your numbers don't list that. And I'm not sure why you think number of employees or amount of payroll has anything to do with productivity - big companies are slow, and grow and shrink very slowly, while small ones can fail quickly, or grow extremely fast when they are successful. Still, even with your numbers, the small companies (less than 100, since you don't list 50), employ more people than the large ones - 171,672,003 compared to 127,838,635.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

The US badly needs something like the Swiss referendum and initiative, where the population can overturn pretty much any government decision, although the executive ones are harder to get at because it goes indirectly. I think that'd shut up the "sole arbiter" complaints (disclosure: I'm Swiss). And if you then also increase transparency and accountability of the government agencies, the whole Libertarian Party starts to look as silly as it would if we had one over here.

+1

If there is any transparency and accountability left in the US federal government, it is fading very fast. I mean, Obama recently appointed a former Monsanto executive as Commissioner of Foods for the Food and Drug Administration, and Tom Wheeler, a powerful lobbyist for the big cable and wireless corporations, was appointed head of the Federal Communications Commission. And, of course, even the most mundane documents from these bureaucracies is categorized as "classified", and of course Edward Snowden is now in hiding for revealing the collaborations between the NSA, AT&T, Verizon, and Israeli technology companies.

And all this corruption is why libertarian ideas are becoming more popular in the US.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

You must have missed the 1920s and 1930s in American history.

Ah, yes. "Trust busting"? The fact is, Standard Oil was already LOSING market share before a government bureaucrat decided that he could satisfy his ambition by attacking them. And, of course, back then we had books like "The Jungle" to get people all afraid and beg to give up their rights for protection from the government - they do that these days with CNN and Nightline. And of course, those problems were solved with private citizens banding together and forming unions, not with government intervention. That's the whole "informed society" and responsibility of the populace piece that all free societies require to function properly.

The problem with benevolent governments is that when they get powerful enough there is no incentive for them to be benevolent any more.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

I'm amazed at all the ridiculous straw men that people come up with to justify the police-state / nanny-state / overbearing government activity. Playing loud music at 3AM is nothing like a natural right exercised without imposing on others - it is a clear over-the-line case, as in one person violating someone else's rights (the "quiet enjoyment" part of natural property rights). As the saying goes, your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.

At least in your case you didn't try to conflate libertarianism with anarchy, like many others. I'll give you a real-world example with a little less clarity. What if I want to grow vegetables in my front lawn, but the local government has passed a zoning rule that says I can't. And they enforce it by imposing a fine every day that passes that I have not ripped up the vegetable garden and planted "approved" flora. This is happening in many places right now. What do you think, should the collective, that want to require certain "standards" for residential property, be able to impose that kind of rule on the individual's right to use his own personal property as he sees fit, when it violates the rights of no other person, but only the "ideal" drawn up by a few local representatives?

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

So you would prefer to remove government from the equation and leave society to the direct control of the wealthy and well-connected families and individuals at the top?

Straw man. I suppose you would prefer to remove private enterprise from the equation and have the government confiscate all property and means of production, to be ruled by well-connected families and individuals at the top?

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

We'll agree that the USA doesn't get it right nowadays, but that simply means we should fix the government, not aim for perpetual anarchy and right of strength.

No need for the anarchy straw man. I'll just prop up my totalitarian state straw man and tell you we should fix the government, not aim for total government control over all rights and property.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 2) 701

1. What is an overall tax rate that does not qualify as "overly burdensome"?

Wrong question, as you know. The burden has nothing to do with the rate, but with the code. If you're middle income, you work from 1/3 - 1/2 of your time for the government. If you're wealthy, you can pay no taxes at all, or get tax credits for NOT growing crops on the 1200 acre estate you had no intention of growing crops on, hire tax accountants to take advantage of other benefits, or if you're really well-connected you can get a lot of funding from the treasury to create jobs in other countries.

2. Your claim that "we had all of that before 1913" seems questionable:

And yet it's true, so you simply tried moving the goal posts. Most of the "solutions" you mention after 1913 were to address problems that didn't exist before then, and speculating that the federal government HAD to have 20% of all the private income to address them is pure speculation. There was plenty of welfare before the welfare state, but it was done VOLUNTARILY (and much more efficiently) by philanthropists. Your default assumption is that every problem requires government to solve it. Mine is that most problems are a result of government, including much of the pollution problem (the vast majority of EPA super-sites military bases). We even had plenty of pure scientific research, but you seem to think that requires a government committee. Social Security was a government solution to a problem created by government. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913, and it bankrupted the country by 1929. The VA still does a lousy job of taking care of veterans, but it solved the problem of the actual military services being burdened with caring for servicemen, like they should have done. Don't even get me started on Lyndon Johnson's horrible policy decisions. You seem fond of SS, but entirely forgiving of Johnson for raiding it. And OSHA is nothing but another tool for targeting political opponents, like the IRS has now admitted to being. What did they do for me when I was unable to work do to RSI? Nothing. Useless waste of money that I contributed to for 20 years and then told me "tough shit".

We were much better off before people started relying on the benevolence of faceless bureaucracies.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 2) 701

No, I mean 1913. The 1861 tax was temporary (it was repealed the following year), a failure for revenue generation (it was allowed to expire in favor of tariffs, which generated revenues more reliably), and in 1895 SCOTUS declared the provisions taxing income from property were illegal. Also, it didn't pay for any of the things the OP mentioned - it was a temporary tax used only for killing 700,000 Americans.

So taxing income from anything except wages was actually illegal until the 16th Amendment was ratified. The people went along with ratification because it would "always only affect the very wealthy".

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

That's what the warlords told their slaves, and what the kings told their serfs, what the Aztecs told the parents of the children they sacrificed. It's the old argument from tyrants that it's for the "good of the people" that people must suffer. The suffering is never for the rulers, of course.

How amusing that the changes you seek would destroy social mobility and send us right back to the days of feudalism that you're so desperate to avoid, where the poor live only at the charity of the rich. Your sig is well-earned.

It's telling that you think that, because it is entirely wrong. Social mobility has been declining in the US in direct correlation with the size and power of the federal government. We are living in a subtle form of elitist control, a collaboration between big business and government implemented by wealthy and well-connected families and individuals at the top of both the corporate boards and the government bureaucracy. THAT system is what is returning us to the days of feudalism, and the only way to counter that is to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.

Comment Re:"Liberty-Minded"? (Score 1) 701

We had all of that before 1913, when the income tax was implemented. I never said I opposed taxation, and I don't. I do oppose overly burdensome taxation, and that is what we have now. Our current tax system is not based on generating revenue for the things you listed, it's designed for social engineering of the people, for promoting wars, providing privileges to certain corporations and industries, and general control of the populace.

Slashdot Top Deals

Unix will self-destruct in five seconds... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Working...